Two pollsters, one from each party, say public opinion won’t likely turn against Obama
As I’ve reported several times in the past week (most recently HERE), President Obama is holding up well in the polls despite all the so-called scandals swirling about his administration.
Nor is their much reason to expect that situation to change any time soon, as Jill Lawrence EXPLAINS:
Given the noise level on Capitol Hill, cable TV, and social media, Obama’s 50 percent-plus showings in recent polls from CNN, Pew, and ABC/Washington Post seem somewhat surprising. But two veteran political pollsters, one from each party, say that Obama can expect to maintain his standing as long as there’s no evidence that he was involved in the two big furors of the moment: the Internal Revenue Service targeting conservative groups for extra scrutiny, and the Justice Department seizing Associated Press phone records as part of a leak investigation.
Republican Bill McInturff and Democrat Stan Greenberg agree that Obama is in a relatively strong position short of “a real set of facts that implicates the president,” as Greenberg put it. The reasons include Obama’s steadfast coalition of blacks, Latinos, and young people, and a Washington tradition of leaving the president in the dark.
The president’s core base has kept his approval rating in the mid-40s or higher through the five years of his presidency, McInturff says, and won’t desert him. He calls that unusual, and you only have to look back one administration to see why. George W. Bush had job-approval ratings in the 20s and 30s for most of his second term. Obama’s job approval could drop over time due to the controversies, McInturff says, “but will they restructure his job approval? Not with the information we have today.”
The favorability gap between Obama and the Republican Party is substantial, with views of Obama well above 50 percent favorable in most polls and Republicans hovering at 60 percent unfavorable. The generally good impression of Obama is periodically reinforced by events in and out of his control. For instance, his commencement address at Morehouse, a college for black men, was a highly personal speech about overcoming adversity, his own fatherless childhood and his not always constructive race-consciousness, and the need to take personal responsibility to break cycles of poverty and broken families. Clips of the speech on the network news served to remind people not just of the history he represents but of the personal qualities that hold appeal across party lines.
The tornado in Oklahoma is also intruding on the news cycle in a way that shows Obama at his most caring. “The people of Moore should know that their country will remain on the ground, there for them, beside them as long as it takes,” he said Tuesday, his words similar to what he said after Hurricane Sandy, the Newtown shootings, the Boston bombings, and the Texas plant explosion.
After Sandy, which devastated parts of New York and New Jersey, Obama’s approval ratings rose. But that’s unlikely to happen with the tornado. McInturff points out that it did not happen in an international media center with hundreds of reporters to cover it. And let’s face it, Gov. Mary Fallin is no Chris Christie. Still, the tornado story is so tragic and compelling that it has forced the media off its exclusive scandal focus, at least temporarily.